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not properly remit sin, but did declare and certify that it was remitted by God; so that the absolution, received from man, is nothing else than if he should say, Behold, my son, I certify thee that thy sins are forgiven thee, I pronounce unto thee that thou hast God favourable unto thee; and whatsoever Christ in baptism and in his gospel hath promised unto us, he doth now declare and promise unto thee by me.
Of this shalt thou have me to be a witness : go in peace, and in quiet of conscience.” But jam hoc tempore the case is altered : these things must be purged out of Ferus' as erroneous; the opinion of the old doctors must give place to the sentence of the new fathers of Trent. And so we are come at length to the end of this long question ; in the handling whereof I have spent the more time, by reason our priests do make this faculty of pardoning men's sins to be one of the most principal parts of their occupation, and the particular discovery thereof is not ordinarily by the writers of our side so much inOF PURGATORY.
sit, tibi nunc per me annunciat et promittit. Jo. Ferus, lib. 2. comment. in Matt. cap. 9. edit. Mogunt. ann. 1559.
9 Fer. in Matt. edit. Antverp. ann. 1559, 1570, &c.
For extinguishing the imaginary flames of popish purgatory, we need not go far to fetch water : seeing the whole current of God's word runneth mainly upon this, that “ the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin;" that all God's children “ dieb in Christ;" and that such as
- die in him, do rest from their labours;" that, as they be “ absents from the Lord while they are in the body," so, when they be “ absent from the body they are present with the Lord;” and in a word, that they “come not into judgment, but pass from death unto life.” And if we need the assistance of the ancient fathers in this business, behold they be here ready, with full buckets in their hands.
Tertullian, to begin withal, counteth' it injurious unto Christ, to hold that such as be called from hence by him are in a state that should be pitied; whereas they have obtained their desire of being with Christ, according to that of the apostle, “ If desire to depart, and to be with Christ." What pity was it that the poor souls in purgatory should find no spokesman in those days, to inform men better of their rueful condition; nor no secretary to
a 1 John, chap. 1. ver. 7.
d 2 Cor. chap. 5. ver. 6, 8. e John, chap. 5. ver. 24.
' Christum lædimus, cum evocatos quosque ab illo, quasi miserandos non æquanimiter accipimus. Cupio, inquit apostolus, recipi jam, et esse cum Christo : quanto melius ostendit votum Christianorum. Ergo votum si alios consequutos impatienter dolemus, ipsi consequi nolumus. Tertull. lib. de patient. cap. 9. $ Philipp. chap. 1. ver. 23. VOL. III.
draw up such another supplication for them as this, which of late years Sir Thomas Moore presented in their name, “ To all good Christian people. In most piteous wise continually calleth and crieth upon your devout charity and most tender pity, for help, comfort and relief, your late acquaintance, kindred, spouses, companions, playfellows, and friends, and now your humble and unacquainted and half-forgotten suppliants, poor prisoners of God, the silly souls in purgatory, here abiding and enduring the grievous pains and hot cleansing fire, &c." If St. Cyprian had understood but half thus much, doubtless he would have struck out the best part of that famous treatise which he wrote of mortality, to comfort men against death in the time of a great plague; especially such passages as these are, which by no means can be reconciled with purgatory.
“ It is for him to fear death, that is not willing to go unto Christ: it is for him to be unwilling to go unto Christ, who doth not believe that he beginneth to reign with Christ. For it is written, that the just doth live by faith. If thou be just, and livest by faith, if thou dost truly believe in Christ, why, being to be with Christ, and being secure of the Lord's promise, dost not thou embrace the message whereby thou art called unto Christ, and rejoicest that thou shalt be rid of the Devil? Simeon said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word : for mine eyes have seen thy salvation: proving thereby, and witnessing, that the servants of God then have peace, then enjoy free and quiet rest; when, being drawn from these storms of the world, we arrive at the haven of our everlasting habitation and security, when this death being ended we enter into immortality.” “The righteous are called to a refreshing, the unrighteous are haled to torment; safety is quickly granted to the faithful, and punishment to the unfaithful." “ Wem are not to put on black mourning garments here, when our friends there have put on white.” “ This" is not a going out, but a passage; and, this temporal journey being finished, a going over to eternity.” “ Leto us therefore embrace the day that bringeth every one to his own house ; which, having taken us away from hence, and loosed us from the snares of this world, returneth us to paradise, and to the kingdom of heaven."
h The supplication of souls, made by Sir Thomas Moore : which seemeth to be made in imitation of Joh. Gerson's Querela defunctorum in igne purgatorio detentorum, ad superstites in terra amicos. part. 4. oper. edit. Paris. ann. 1606. col. 959.
i Ejus est mortem timere, qui ad Christum nolit ire: ejus est ad Christum nolle ire, qui se non credat cum Christo incipere regnare. Scriptum est enim, justum fide vivere. Si justus es, et fide vivis, si vere in Christum credis; cur non, cum Christo futurus, et de Domini pollicitatione securus, quod ad Christum voceris amplecteris, et quod diabolo careas gratularis ? Cyprian. de mortalit. op.
k probans scilicet, atque contestans, tunc esse servis Dei pacem, tunc liberam, tunc tranquillam quietem, quando, de istis mundi turbinibus extracti, sedis et securi æternæ portum petimus, quando expuncta hac morte ad immortalitatem venimus. Ibid. pag. 230.
The same holy father in his apology which he wrote for Christians unto Demetrian the proconsul of Africa, affirmeth in like manner, that “the end of this temporal life being accomplished, we are divided into the habitations of everlasting, either death or immortality.” “When? we are once departed from hence, there is now no further place for repentance, neither any effect of satisfaction ; here life is either lost or obtained." But if 66
But if “ thou","
' Ad refrigerium justi vocantur, ad supplicium rapiuntur injusti : datur velocius tutela fidentibus, perfidis pæna. Ibid. pag. 233.
* Nec accipiendas esse hic atras vestes, quando illi ibi indumenta alba jam sumpserint. Ibid. pag. 234.
Non est exitus iste, sed transitus ; et, temporali itinere decurso, ad æterna transgressus. Ibid. pag. 235.
• Amplectamur diem, qui assignat singulos domicilio suo ; qui nos istinc ereptos, et laqueis secularibus exsolutos, paradiso restituit et regno cælesti. Ibid.
P Donec, ævi temporalis fine completo, ad æternæ vel mortis vel immortalitatis hospitia dividamur. Id. ad Demetrian, pag. 222.
9 Quando istine excessum fuerit, nullus jam pænitentiæ locus est, nullus satisfactionis effectus; hic vita aut amittitur, aut tenetur. Id. ibid. pag. 224.
Tu, sub ipso licet exitu et vitæ temporalis occasu, pro delictis rogas ; et Deum, qui unus et verus est, confessione et fide agnitionis ejus implores; venia confitenti datur, et credenti indulgentia salutaris de divina pietate conceditur; et ad immortalitatem sub ipsa morte transitur. Hanc gratiam Christus impertit; hoc munus misericordiæ suæ tribuit; subigendo mortem trophæo crucis, redimendo
saith he, even at the very end and setting of thy temporal life, dost pray for thy sins, and call upon the only true God with confession and faith ; pardon is given to thee confessing, and saving forgiveness is granted by the divine piety to thee believing; and at thy very death thou hast a passage unto immortality. This grace doth Christ impart, this gift of his mercy doth he bestow; by subduing death with the triumph of his cross, by redeeming the believer with the price of his blood, by reconciling man unto God the Father, by quickening him that is mortal with heavenly regeneration."
Where Solomon sayeth', that “man goeth to his everlasting house, and the mourners go about in the streets :" St. Gregory of Neocæsarea maketh this paraphrase upon those words, “ The good man shall go rejoicing unto his everlasting house ; but the wicked shall fill all with lamentations." Therefore did the fathers teach that men should rejoice" at their death: and the ancient Christians framed their practice accordingly; " not' celebrating the day of their nativity, which they accounted to be the entry of sorrows and temptations ; but celebrating the day of death, as being the putting away of all sorrows, and the escaping of all temptations.” And so being filled with “a” divine rejoicing, they came to the extremity of death as unto the end of their holy combats;" where they did “more* clearly behold the way that led unto
credentem pretio sanguinis sui, reconciliando hominem Deo Patri, vivificando mortalem regeneratione cælesti, Cyprian. ad Demetrian. pag. 224.
s Ecclesiast. chap. 12. ver. 5.
* Και ο μέν άγαθος ανήρ εις αιώνιον οίκον τον εαυτού χαίρων πoρεύσε. ται: οι δέ γε φαύλοι, πάντα τα αυτών εμπλήσουσι κοπτόμενοι. Greg. Neocæsar, metaphras. in Ecclesiast.
u Aci o è é ni Daváry xaioriv. Anton. Meliss. part. 1. serm. 58. &c.
"Nos non nativitatis dicm celebramus, cum sit dolorum atque tentationum introitus; sed mortis diem celebramus, utpote omnium dolorum depositionem atque omnium tentationum effugationem. Author lib. 3. in Job, inter opera Origenis. Vide S. Basil. homil. in Psalm. 115. Op, tom. 1. pag. 374.
* Έν ευφροσύνη θεία προς το του θανάτου πέρας ίασιν, ως επί τέλος ιερών αγώνων. et paulo post : 'Εν τούτοις μεν ούν ή των ιερών εστί κοίμησις εν ευφροσύνη και ασαλεύτοις ελπίσιν είς τό των θείων αγώνων αφικvouuévn hépas. Dionys. ecclesiast. hierarch. cap. 7.
* 'Αλλ' όλους αυτούς απολήψεσθαι την χριστοειδή λήξιν ειδότες, όταν